Widow told she’s “too wealthy” to receive extra from late husband’s homemade will

The widow of construction tycoon Ian Wooldridge has been told she’s “too wealthy” to receive extra from her late husband’s will.

Thandi Wooldridge, who previously ran an advertising company and is worth £10 million in her own right, took her stepson to court saying she needed an additional £372,000 a year to cover her own expenses.

His homemade will left the family home, Glanfield Manor in Windlesham, to his widow Thandi, 50, but she was seeking a further £3.75m from his estate.

Mrs Wooldridge said she needed £372,000 a year to cover her expenses and maintain her lifestyle, including £178,000 a year for social events, clothes and jewellery.

Judge Karen Walden-Smith said the annual “salary” Mrs Wooldridge was attempting to claim was some 14 times larger than the average individual income in Britain and that she “had enough” money.

The house, which Mr and Mrs Wooldridge built 15 years ago, is now worth around £4.25m and she also inherited assets worth £1.6m.

Judge Walden-Smith said: “Thandi does not simply contend that they were leading the ‘good life’, her evidence was that they were living the life of the ‘super rich’.

“I accept that Thandi lives, and lived when Ian was alive, a lavish lifestyle way beyond the dreams or wishes of most. However, I expressly reject that her lifestyle ever involved expenditure of the level she now claims, slightly in excess of £372,000 per annum. The will does make reasonable provision for Thandi. Thandi has enough.”

Mrs Wooldridge agreed that what she wanted was “well above the expenditure of a typical household”.

In response the judge said: “In fact, the expenditure she refers to is more than 14 times the average gross income of an individual.

“It is nearly 10 times the average income for a British family with two adults working.”

While her husband was alive, Mrs Wooldridge said they enjoyed jet set skiing holidays and luxury trips to Portofino and Barbados, staying in top hotels costing up to £2,500 a night. Since her husband’s death, court heard Mrs Wooldridge had bought a £155,000 Bentley, to add to her £75,000 Range Rover and had lent £92,000 to “friends and acquaintances”.

The judge concluded, although her husband’s business success had generated an impressive fortune, his estate was not “limitless”.

Ruling that her needs “are not as extensive as she says”, the judge said Mrs Wooldridge required, at most, about £240,000-a-year to live on.

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